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Sisters Helping Sisters: Why Black Women Can't Get Ahead and What They Can Do About It.

Black women have always worked, but never have their efforts been so well documented as in Work, Sister, Work: Why Black Women Can't Get Ahead and What They Can Do About It by Cydney Shields and Leslie C. Shields. By interviewing more than 500 black working women, the Shields, who are black women and real life sisters, provide specifics on how black women suffer from dual discrimination in the workplace.

Most of the women interviewed said that they are underemployed and often denied advancement. Says one woman: "I sense that regardless of how well I perform on my job, I can never do enough to convince my white coworkers that I am just as competent. Management at my company is reluctant to accept blacks at any level."

Women will be able to identify with the sisters portrayed and their situations. But they will do more than just identify; they will find solutions. Work, Sister, Work not only discusses problems in the workplace, but also how black women successfully combat them. Readers need only follow the advice or adjust it to their own particular situation. Black men will also find this book illuminating as they learn about the kind of subtle racism that African-American women face on a daily basis.

Your tendency may be to skip through the book but don't miss the chapter on "Burden of Her Color," especially the section "The Trouble With Being Black and A Working Woman." Here, 35 of the most common complaints in the workplace are documented. Set up like a managing diversity course, this section covers such complaints as racial barriers, poor career development and cultural hurdles.

The authors also provide specific tools to increase career advancement, which are worth the price of purchase. One caveat: The chapter, "Why Don't You Just Mind Your Own Business?" should be longer. So run, sister, run to the bookstore.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Randall, Iris
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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